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McDonald's Q4 Profit Rises 39%, Tops Estimates

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Fast-food giant McDonald's Corp. (MCD) reported Thursday a profit for the first quarter that increased 39 percent from last year, reflecting stronger operating performance in the U.S. due to higher sales-driven restaurant margins. Global comparable sales also grew 7.5 percent. Adjusted earnings per share topped analysts' expectations, while quarterly revenues missed it.

"Our first quarter 2021 global comparable sales and revenues surpassed first quarter 2019 levels, even as resurgences and operating restrictions persist in many parts of the world," said McDonald's President and CEO Chris Kempczinski.

For the first quarter, the company reported net income of $1.54 billion or $2.05 per share, up 39 percent from $1.11 billion or $1.47 per share in the prior-year quarter.

Excluding strategic gains of $0.13 related to the sale of McDonald's Japan stock, adjusted earnings were $1.91 per share. Foreign currency translation had a positive impact of $0.06 on earnings per share for the quarter.

On average, 32 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $1.81 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Total revenues for the quarter grew 9 percent to $5.12 billion from $4.71 billion in the same quarter last year, and it was up 5 percent in constant currencies. Analysts expected revenues of $5.30 billion for the quarter.

Global comparable sales increased 7.5 percent, reflecting positive comparable sales across all segments, a growth of 13.6 percent in the U.S., 0.6 percent in the International Operated segment and 6.4 percent in the International Developmental Licensed segment. Systemwide sales increased 12 percent or 8 percent in constant currencies.

Looking ahead, the company is still not providing guidance for the full year and long-term outlook, both of which it had withdrawn in April last year, due to the uncertainty related to the impact of COVID-19 on global economic conditions and the company's business operations.

In Thursday's pre-market trade, MCD is trading at $231.45, down $0.96 or 0.41 percent.

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