McDonald's Corp. shares are nearly flat in Monday premarket trading after the fast-food giant reported earnings that beat expectations. Net income for the fourth quarter totaled $1.19 billion, or $1.44 per share, compared with $1.21 billion, or $1.31 per share, for the same period last year. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $1.41. Sales for the quarter were $6.03 billion, down from $6.34 billion and beating the $6.00 billion FactSet consensus. Global same-store sales increased 2.7%, though same-store sales in the U.S. fell 1.3%. The FactSet consensus was for a 1.4% decline in U.S. same-store sales. McDonald's attributes the U.S. same-store sales decline to a tough comparison with last year's all-day breakfast launch. Fourth-quarter same-store sales rose 4.7% in the high growth segment, led by China. And same-store sales rose 11.1% in foundational markets, led by Japan and some Latin American markets. McDonald's shares are up 3.3% for the last year while the the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 23.2% for the same period.
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