McDonald's (MCD) posted narrowly better-than-expected April comparable-store sales in the U.S., but European results came in sharply lower than estimates. 

The world's biggest burger chain said comp. sales in the U.S. were flat in April, slightly beating FactSet estimates of a 0.1% decline. Global sales edged up by 1.2%, also topping estimates by 0.1 percentage point. 

However, European sales came as a big disappointment. Comp. sales across the pond ticked higher by 0.3%, well below expectations of a 2.4% jump. Rounding that out, sales in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region climbed 2.9%, easily topping Street views of a 0.3% increase. 

"We are strengthening our business plans by emphasizing customer-driven strategies," said McDonald's CEO Don Thompson in a press release. 

"We remain focused on delivering an outstanding restaurant experience by serving our customers their favorite McDonald's food and drinks and offering compelling value, choice and convenience to create easy, memorable experiences."

Comparable-store sales look at sales at restaurants open at least 13 months, including those that are temporarily closed. The metric is seen as a key gauge. 

Shares of McDonald's fell 0.7% in pre-market trading, suggesting the Dow component could pare its year-to-date gains of 5.1%. 

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