McDonald's profit, September sales beat expectations

McDonald's has been taking market share from other fast-food chains for months. It has benefited from improving food quality, adding Dollar Menu items and introducing high-margin beverages such as coffee and fruit smoothies to broaden its appeal beyond the young men who account for the biggest share of sales at most other fast-food chains.

The company also is sprucing up restaurants in Europe and the United States, which has helped boost sales.

The world's biggest fast-food chain said third-quarter net income rose to $1.51 billion, or $1.45 per share, from $1.39 billion, or $1.29 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average forecast $1.43 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Earnings per share rose more than 12 percent, but were up only about 6 percent excluding foreign currency benefits.

Revenue rose 13.8 percent to $7.17 billion. Sales at established restaurants were up 5 percent globally, with increases of 4.4 percent in the United States, 4.9 percent in Europe and 3.4 percent in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region.

Sales at established restaurants rose 6.6 percent in September, while analysts on average expected a 3.6 percent increase.

U.S. same-restaurant sales rose 5 percent, while Europe was up 6.9 percent and Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa had a 6.8 percent increase.

The company forecast a 4 percent to 5 percent increase in sales at established restaurants in October.

McDonald's shares rose 3 percent to $91.69 in premarket trading.

(Reporting by Brad Dorfman in Chicago and Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; editing by John Wallace and Lisa Von Ahn)