Customers using mobile phones, are seen through the windows of a McDonald's store in Tokyo, Japan July 22, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Customers using mobile phones, are seen through the windows of a McDonald's store in Tokyo, Japan July 22, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai (Copyright Reuters 2016)

McDonald's sales beat estimates as turnaround gathers pace

Markets Reuters

McDonald's Corp's turnaround gained momentum in the latest quarter as sales growth at established restaurants beat analysts' estimates, sending the company's shares up almost 4 percent in premarket trading on Friday.

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Same-restaurant sales in its U.S. restaurants rose a better-than-expected 1.3 percent, helped by demand for its all-day breakfast, the "McPick 2 for $2" promotion and the introduction of Chicken McNuggets without artificial preservatives.

Analysts polled by research firm Consensus Metrix had expected a gain of 1.2 percent in the United States.

McDonald's, under Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook, has introduced all-day breakfasts, simplified sprawling menus and improved service to turn around its business amid intense competition from Burger King , Dunkin' Donuts and smaller upstart chains.

McDonald's said global sales at restaurants open at least 13 months rose 3.5 percent in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, handily beating the 1.5 percent gain expected on average by analysts.

The world's largest fast-food chain reported net income of $1.28 billion, or $1.50 per share, compared with $1.31 billion, or $1.40 per share, a year earlier.

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The company had 87.1 million fewer shares outstanding in the quarter, compared with the year-earlier period.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.62 per share, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.48, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total revenue fell almost 3 percent to $6.42 billion - down for the ninth straight quarter - but beat the average analyst estimate of $6.28 billion.

(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles and Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)