US Sales Boost McDonald’s First-Quarter Earnings

McDonald’sreported higher quarterly profit on Friday, paced by strong sales at established restaurants in the U.S.


Quarterly sales at restaurants open at least 13 months were up 7.3 percent, more than the 6.7 percent increase expected by analysts polled by Consensus Metrix. That figure rose 8.9 percent in the U.S., while in Europe, same-restaurant sales rose 5 percent.

Net income at the world's biggest fast-food chain rose to $1.27 billion, or $1.23 per share, during the first quarter, up from $1.21 billion, or $1.15 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, had been looking for a profit of $1.23 per share, and revenue of $6.54 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. Revenue rose 7 percent to $6.55 billion in the first quarter.

Global same-store sales rose 7.3 percent, benefiting from one additional day due to Leap Year, the company said in a statement. U.S. same-store sales increased nearly 9 percent, helped by mainstay products and its Chicken McBites. The company also cited seasonably warm weather.

The results were boosted by new menu items, restaurant makeovers, and longer operating hours.

CEO Jim Skinner, who took the top post following the abrupt departures of two CEOs, announced last month he is retiring after more than seven years at the helm. Chief Operating Officer Don Thompson will succeed Skinner effective July 1.

The fast-food chain continues to ramp up investment as competitors like Wendy's and Burger Kingreinvent themselves to try to close the gap. Last month, it announced plans to open 1,300 new restaurants in the coming year, to add to the current roster of more than 33,000 outlets around the world.

Shares of McDonald’s rose more than 2 percent in trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday. Get real-time quotes for McDonald’s here.