McDonald's US December sales help fourth quarter profit
The world's largest restaurant chain on Wednesday said sales at U.S. eateries open at least 13 months rose 0.9 percent in December, compared with an average estimate compiled by Consensus Metrix calling for a 1.78 percent drop in the month.
A push by the company to have more of its restaurants open on Christmas and a shift of the limited-time offering of its popular McRib sandwich to December, both helped boost U.S. sales during the month.
But analysts said the early part of 2013 will be tough for the chain as it runs short of quick fixes for boosting U.S. sales that have been hurt by stiffer competition for customers who are pinching pennies in a weak economic recovery.
In fact, the company said it expected global same-restaurant sales to be down in January.
McDonald's shares rose to $93.55 in premarket trading, up from Tuesday's New York Stock Exchange close of $92.95.
Net income at the world's biggest restaurant chain rose to $1.40 billion, or $1.38 per share, from $1.38 billion, or $1.33 per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average had forecast $1.33 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Total sales rose 1.5 percent to $4.59 billion.
McDonald's fourth-quarter global sales at restaurants open at least 13 months rose 0.1 percent. Analysts on average had anticipated a 0.3 percent decline, according to Consensus Metrix.
Fast-food chains like Burger King Worldwide Inc and Yum Brands
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