CHICAGO – McDonald's Corp. (MCD) on Thursday said sales at its hamburger restaurants open at least 13 months rose 4 percent in November, helped by breakfast sales and extended hours in the United States.
Four Wall Street analysts had been expecting a rise of between 3.4 percent and 3.7 percent, according to research reports.
In the company's flagship U.S. business, same-store sales rose 4.8 percent. Analysts had been expecting a rise of 3.3 percent to 5.5 percent.
European same-store sales were about flat. Analysts had forecast a rise of 2 percent to 4 percent for the company's No. 2 market. Strong sales in Russia and other markets offset the impact of tough comparisons to a year earlier in Britain and Germany because of national coupon promotions in those countries in November 2004.
Same-store sales for Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa were up 7.1 percent in November, driven by strong results in Australia, Japan and Taiwan.
McDonald's said it expects to record charges of 2 cents a share in the fourth quarter, primarily for asset impairment in South Korea.
Also, at current average foreign currency exchange rates, fourth-quarter earnings will be reduced by at least 1 cent a share, the company said. A stronger dollar lessens the value of sales overseas when they are translated into dollars on a U.S. company's income statement.
McDonald's shares trade at about 16 times estimated 2006 earnings, compared with a multiple of 19.7 for the entire Standard & Poor's Restaurant Index.