McDonald’s Corporation Shares Rise After Strong Q4 Earnings

McDonald’s released its fourth quarter earnings report before opening bell this morning, posting earnings of $1.31 per share on revenue of $6.34 billion. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $1.23 per share and $6.24 billion in revenue. Excluding items, earnings were $1.28 per share.

McDonald’s beats same store sales estimate

Reported earnings climbed 16% year over year. In constant currencies, earnings climbed 26%. Revenues fell 4% year over year but climbed 5% in constant currencies. The company’s same store sales climbed 5%, beating the consensus estimate of 3.2%. U.S. comparable store sales climbed 5.7% on the back of the fast food chain’s all day breakfast move and unseasonably mild weather.

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The International Lead segment’s comparable sales climbed 4.2% as Canada, the U.K. and Australia saw strong performances resulting from higher margins among McDonald’s franchises. The company saw negative impacts from macroeconomic problems, especially in France. High Growth markets recorded a 3% increase in comparable sales as China and Russia led the way. In Foundational markets, comparable sales climbed 5.9%.

“We took bold, urgent action in 2015 to reset the business and position McDonald’s to deliver sustained profitable growth,” said Steve Easterbrook, president and CEO of McDonald’s. “We ended the year with momentum, including positive comparable sales across all segments for both the quarter and the year – a testament to the swift changes we made and the early impact of our turnaround efforts. We enter 2016 committed to managing the business for the long term and aligned as a System around the critical imperative that we must run great restaurants each and every day for our valued customers.”

Company-operated restaurants recorded sales of $4 billion, while franchised restaurants saw revenues of $2.3 billion.

McDonald’s returns capital to shareholders

McDonald’s returned $2.3 billion to shareholders during the fourth quarter through both dividends and share repurchases, bringing the full year total to $9.4 billion.

Shares of McDonald’s edged higher by as much as 3.04% to $118.40 per share during premarket trading this morning immediately following the strong earnings report.