McDonald's Comparable Sales Fall Less Than Expected

Industries Reuters

McDonald's U.S. comparable restaurant sales fell less than analysts had expected in the fourth quarter as strong demand for its all-day breakfast brought more people to its restaurants.

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The operator of the world's largest fast-food chain posted overall quarterly revenue that beat analysts' expectations.

The company's stock initially rose in premarket trading on Monday, before reversing course to trade down 0.38 percent at $121.95.

Sales at established McDonald's restaurants in the United States declined 1.3 percent in the three months ended Dec. 31, hurt in part by the high bar set by the debut of the all-day breakfast in October 2015.

Analysts on average were expecting a drop of 1.4 percent, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.

McDonald's comparable international restaurant sales beat expectations due to a strong performance in the UK, China, Japan and certain markets in Latin America.

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Sales at international restaurants open at least 13 months rose 2.7 percent, edging past analysts' average estimate of an increase of 2.6 percent.

McDonald's total revenue fell for the tenth straight quarter, mainly due to the sale of restaurants to franchisees as part of the company's turnaround plan started in mid-2015.

That plan by Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook also included the introduction of the all-day breakfast, banning the use of medically important antibiotics in U.S. chicken, and efforts toward faster and friendlier service.

Total revenue fell nearly 5 percent to $6.03 billion in the latest quarter, beating analysts' average estimate of $5.99 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The Illinois-based company's net income fell about 1 percent to $1.19 billion, or $1.44 per share, a year earlier.

 

(Reporting by Gayathree Ganesan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)