LOS ANGELES – McDonald's Corp. (MCD) on Tuesday said October sales at hamburger restaurants open at least 13 months rose a higher-than-expected 3.4 percent due to a popular Monopoly game promotion in the United States and improved performance in Europe.
Two Wall Street analysts had been expecting growth of 1.2 percent to 2.5 percent.
Same-store sales rose 3 percent in the United States and 3.3 percent in Europe.
In the United States, the Monopoly game and chicken sandwich promotion helped boost sales, making up for stores that were temporarily closed due to several recent hurricanes.
Prudential analyst Larry Miller estimated that the 115 McDonald's restaurants that remain closed because of the storms had hurt U.S. same-store sales by about 1 percentage point.
Considering that impact, sales "trends are actually better than they appear," Miller wrote in a note to clients.
In Europe, where McDonald's has been working to revitalize sales, the company said demand was strongest in France and Germany.
Banc of America Securities analyst Andrew Barish said the results signal a solid recovery in the company's No. 2 market, although sales in the United Kingdom are still weak.
Same-store sales for Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa were up 4.3 percent in October, led by Australia and Japan.
Systemwide sales rose 3.9 percent for the month, or 4.4 percent in constant currencies, in line with the company's long-term expectations for 3 percent to 5 percent growth.
Chief Executive Jim Skinner said he was pleased with the results, but the company still has more to do.
"We will continue to focus on improving service, enhancing menu variety and building brand relevance to drive sales and profits at our existing restaurants," he said in a statement.
McDonald's shares were up 8 cents at $33.78 in midday New York Stock Exchange trade.