McDonald becomes more popular

McDonald's Corp. on Tuesday said same-store sales, or sales at restaurants open at least one year, rose 5 percent in December on stronger sales of breakfast items in the United States and increasing sales abroad. The world's largest fast-food chain also forecast fourth-quarter earnings of 48 cents per share, including charges of about 3 cents per share related to foreign currency exchange rates and asset impairment. A year ago, the company posted a profit of 31 cents per share, including 3 cents per share in stock compensation costs.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expect the company to earn 47 cents per share in the fourth quarter, an estimate which includes stock option expenses. In the United States, same-store sales, a closely watched gauge of a retailer's performance, increased 4.4 percent, driven by sales from the chain's breakfast menu and its chicken offerings.

Meanwhile, same-store sales grew 4.6 percent in Europe, led by strong performance in Germany, France and Russia, and jumped 5.9 percent in McDonald's Asia, Middle East and Africa region. Same-store sales rose 4.2 percent in the fourth quarter and 3.9 percent for the full year. McDonald's shares rose 10 cents to $34.57 in premarket trading, reports the AP. N.U.

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