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McDonald's beats earnings expectations, posts 14 consecutive quarters of sales growth

Heidi Chung

McDonald’s (MCD) reported stronger-than-expected results in Q4.

Same-store sales, a key metric for the restaurant industry, were strong globally.

Internationally, McDonald’s same-store sales grew 4.4%. Analysts were predicting about 4% growth during Q4. This is the fourteenth consecutive quarter of positive global same-store sales for McDonald’s.

Domestic same-store sales grew at a 2.3% rate, just shy of the 2.4% rate that Wall Street was anticipating.

“Our performance in 2018 was strong,” CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a statement. “We continued to transform our business by making substantial progress on modernising our restaurants and offering more convenience, choice and value to our customers.

McDonald’s reported revenue of $5.16 billion which was slightly softer than consensus estimates of $5.17 billion.

The fast-food chain earned $1.97 per share during Q4. Analysts polled by Bloomberg were expecting McDonald’s to earn $1.89 per share. McDonald’s has beat EPS estimates every quarter since Q1 of 2015.

Over the quarter, McDonald’s introduced a plethora of new breakfast offerings, fresh beef quarter pounders, an expanded value menu and an improved mobile app. However, investors are worried about how the company will fare in 2019 given the recent slowdown in China.

“As we begin 2019, we have confidence in our plan and the continued growth opportunities from deliver, Experience of the Future and digital. We remain committed to running great restaurants, which will continue to make a difference for our customers and drive long-term sustainable growth,” Easterbrook said.

McDonald’s will be holding its earnings conference call at 11 a.m. ET.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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